Dear friend who is considering buying a banjo,
Buy it, bring it home, take it out, and play around with it.
Don't go searching for how to properly play it, or even how to properly tune it.
Pluck it, strum it, thump it, make as many different sounds as you can.
Howl right along with it.
Do that for a while.
Don't put it away in its case, but keep it out, in a room you frequent.
When you see it, pick it up.
Play with the strings while turning the tuning pegs.
Hold it one way, and then hold it another. Play with it lying down, standing up, as well as while you are sitting.
Set your goal to explore rather than achieve.
I know you know all this already and even taught me some of these things.
It's not as easy as it sounds, and yet it's the easiest thing there is.
I give you permission, just like my kids gave me, to take that banjo and play it however it makes you happy, wherever this path may lead.
And if that's not working for you, try something else until you find something that does.
*Works the same for accordions, violas, pianos, harps, trombones, shakers, castanets, harmonicas, violins, tubas, basses, flutes, drums, cellos, trumpets, sitars, glockenspiels, vibraphones, recorders, bagpipes, kazoos, symbols, clarinets, bassoons, french horns, organs, berimbaus, marimbas, saxophones, cajons, didgeridoos, guitars, ukuleles, zithers, ___________.